ISL 2022-23: Mumbai City FC and FC Goa fight for bragging rights
ISL 2022-23: The matchweek 9 of the competition begins on Thursday. Meanwhile, Mumbai City and FC Goa would clash to kick off the matchweek, as the two teams are set to fight for bragging rights.
Former champion Mumbai City FC (MCFC) and FC Goa will kick start Matchweek 9 of the 2022-23 Indian Super League (ISL) at the Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai on Thursday. The two teams disseminate a long and exciting rivalry, including a couple of meetings in the ISL playoffs in the 2018-19 and 2020-21 seasons. These two teams have faced each other on 20 instances in the ISL. Both sides have bested seven, and six contests have ended in a draw. Both sides have historically been high-scoring outfits, taking the attack to the competitor. Across their 20 meetings versus each other, 63 goals have been scored, suggesting that a goal-fest can be foreseen when they meet in Mumbai on Thursday.
After scoring 23 goals in eight games, MCFC now holds the record for the most goals in the opening eight contests of the ISL. Its opponent had the previous record of 22 goals in eight matches, which it attained during the 2018-19 season in which the Gaurs dethroned the Islanders in the semis.
The goals are coming thick and fast for MCFC. Midfielder Ahmed Jahouh opened its scoring from the spot in the previous game versus NorthEast United (NEUFC). The Moroccan became his side’s 11th goal scorer of the season. Jahouh’s subsequent appearance will be his 100th in the ISL, and he will become only the second overseas player to reach the landmark after Tiri.
“I’ll be happy with the scoreline as long as we continue to play the way we have in the first eight games. We are prepared and will try to win the game, but we know that we are up against an adamant Goa side that will try to do the same. I am looking forward to playing the same way we have so far this season and improving on that,” told head coach Des Buckingham.
Goa failed to crack its alternate-game-endearing habit versus former champion Bengaluru FC (BFC) last week, firing a blank in front of the goal for the second time this season. The Gaurs hope to save the custom alive for another match and materialise with three points to end the Islanders’ unbeaten streak.
Quite some players have recovered from their separate niggles and are fit to start. Alvaro Vazquez has started the last two contests for Goa but has failed to score. Noah Wail Sadaoui has scored four in seven so far and has led the line for the Gaurs. “Our start has been perfect compared to last season. We are in a good position after seven games, but we must improve many things," Pena.
"The team dynamic is excellent even after the result against Bengaluru. Mumbai is an outstanding team. It’s its second season with the same coach, so they know what they are supposed to do,” Pena concluded. While MCFC has been prevalent this season, unbeaten and placed atop the ISL points table, the Gaurs are six points behind the league leader but possess a game in hand.